genealogy trails

Christian County Illinois

Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.

Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.

Portrait and biographical record of Christian County, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and   representative citizens, together with biographies of all the Governors of the state, and of the Presidents of the United States.  Chicago, Ill. : Lake City Pub. Co., 1893.  Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.
TOM C. PONTING, a prominent stock-dealer and breeder of Prairieton Township, owns a well-equipped farm on section 36, and for forty-three years has been intimately connected with the march of progress in this county. He is recognized as a man of unusual business ability and force of character, for he has acquired a fortune through the exercise of his superior abilities. He is very well known in this portion of the State, and we feel sure that his many friends will take pleasure in perusing the history of this worthy pioneer.

The birth of Mr. Ponting occurred in Somersetshire, England, near the city of Bath, on the 26th of August, 1830. He is the son of John and Ruth (Sheron) Ponting. On his father's side the descent of the family is traced from the time of William the Conqueror. Until his seventeenth year, our subject's time was passed in his native land. Since reaching years of maturity he has acquired an education, as he had no opportunities in that direction during his youth.

It was in 1847 that Mr. Ponting emigrated to the United States. Going to London, he took passage in a sailing-vessel, and after being tossed to and fro on the broad Atlantic for five weeks and three days, arrived in New York City in September. He first went to Worcester County, Ohio, joining some friends at Frederickstown.

His first experience in a business way in this country was at Columbus, Ohio, where he engaged in buying
and butchering cattle for the markets.

In the spring of 1848 he went to Chicago, then but a small, straggling town, without railroads. For the first year he engaged in buying and selling cattle, after which he went to Milwaukee, continuing in the same line of business and shipping stock to Chicago.

His next venture was to go to Texas, where he purchased cattle and started to drive them to the North. On his way to Illinois, he arrived in this township, and, as the custom was in those days, stopped for a night at a hospitable farmer's. He was entertained at the home of the Adams family, and here received his first ideas of this county. Since that date (July, 1853,) he has made his home here and is still engaged in the stock business.

In September, 1856, Mr. Ponting was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Snider, the ceremony being performed in the home where he still resides. Mrs. Ponting is a native of this county and has passed all her life in her present home.

In 1856 our subject purchased his first land in Stonington Township, and to its cultivation devoted himself for many years. He commenced his career in Illinois empty-handed, but, with the assistance of his estimable wife, has accumulated a large and valuable estate.

The wife of our subject is a daughter of Michael Snider, who was of German birth, and one of the first settlers of this county. He is living at the home of his daughter, and though over eighty years of age is still strong and robust.

To our subject and wife have been born the following children: Jessie, who is the wife of Wheeler Adams, a well-to-do farmer of Shelby County; Everett A.; Earl Wayne; Theophilus, who died in the fall of 1882, aged fourteen years; and three who died in infancy.

Soon after his marriage Mr. Pouting embarked more extensively in the stock business, and has made a great success of this occupation. In 1882 he purchased a farm adjoining the corporate limits of Moweaqua.

He relates that the horse he rode to Christian County was afterward owned by a Mr. Bradley, and was used by Abraham Lincoln the last time he attended court at Urbana. Politically, Mr. Ponting was formerly an old-line Whig, supported Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and has since been a Republican.

In local elections he is independent, casting his ballot for the one whom he thinks best qualified, regardless of party. Religiously, Mr. and Mrs. Ponting are not identified with any church organization, but attend the different churches of the neighborhood and contribute to their support. They are well thought of throughout this region, and are always active in benevolent enterprises, as well as in all movements tending to advance the public good.


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